Hoe Washing Festival
Homissisi (Kor. 호미씻이, Chin. 洗鋤宴, 洗鋤會, lit. hoe washing) is a traditional summer festival held in farming communities in the beginning or middle of the seventh lunar month. By this time major activities related to the growth of crops are finished, as it is reflected in the name of the festival: a homi (Kor. 호미, hand hoe) is the main tool for weeding, the last task that farmers need to complete before harvesting in autumn. Thus, Homissisi represents the end of weeding via the act of "washing weeding hoes," which, in turn, signifies the conclusion of the crop-growing season. Regional variations for the name of the festival include Homigeori (Kor. 호미걸이, lit. Hanging Hoes) reflecting the action of hanging a weeding hoe after weeding, Putgut (Kor. 풋굿, lit. Weeds Feast) celebrating the end of the weeding season, Dure Jangwon (Nongsa Jangwon or Jangwollye, Kor. 두레장원, lit. Champion of Farmers), and Meoseumnal (Kor. 머슴날, lit. Servants Day), both expressions related to the special feast and entertainment given as prizes to farm workers or servants who worked the best during the weeding season.
Farmers set the day for Homissisi for the beginning or middle of the seventh lunar month, after weeding of all fields - both rice paddies and vegetable fields - is complete. The date of the festival tends to coincide with the major holidays falling in this period: Chilseok (Kor. 칠석, Chin. 七夕, the seventh of the seventh lunar month) or Baekjung (Kor. 백중, Chin. 百中, Buddhist All Soul’s Day, the fifteenth of the seventh lunar month). The villagers gather at a shady place by a river or creek side on the outskirts of their village. They bring food and alcoholic beverages, the wealthier families usually preparing more food than the other households. Everyone enjoys eating, drinking and dancing. The underlying meaning of Homissisi is to encourage the farmers and farmhands to work harder.